Re: Repainting Trailers
Mon, 30 Aug 1999 11:14:51 -0700

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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>I'm curious about this, because my trailer has the ez-lube axle. However
>the seals are not waterproof, and they do not pressurize the hub like a
>bearing buddy. As far as I can see, ez-lube axles are good for lubing the
>bearing but not good at keeping water out. What do you know?

That's a good point and one that I seem to have overlooked. Champion
Trailer's catalog says that the axle is sealed, but that's not the issue.
It also says, "No bearing protectors necessary." There is a zerc fitting in
the end of the spindle, so you pump grease in, it flows through all the
bearings, filling the hub, and emerges through the outer bearing. It claims
to work like the bearing packing tools. In fact, it's okay to assemble the
hubs and bearings dry, then pump in the grease. I don't know if your
ez-lube axles are the same as Champion's Spindle-Lube but they probably are.

How does water get into the bearings? I don't have to be quite so concerned
about this with my tilt-up trailer since I try not to submerge my hubs, but
it's easy to back in a little too far.

The Bearing Buddies haven't seemed to prolong the life of my old bearings.
One wheel was leaking grease through the seal, and a bearing on the other
wheel was getting noisy. I have not been pressurizing them just before
launch as is recommended; I've just been topping them off when I get home,
adding just enough to bring the disk back out to the full position.

Looking at the diagram of the Spindle-Lube axle in the Champion catalog, it
appears that water could only enter through the outer bearing, if it gets
past the rubber dustcap. Adding grease after a dunking should purge any
water back out the way it came in since the grease is forced out through
the outer bearing. If I pump in new grease until clean, water-free grease
comes out, that may be sufficient. But I should probably do that in the
ramp parking area instead of waiting until I get home, since driving is
likely to distribute the water through the bearings. (I've been avoiding
carrying a messy grease gun.)

I'm going to assume that keeping the bearings fully packed with clean
grease will be more valuable than maintaining pressure to keep water out,
and I won't have to worry about causing seal leaks.

I'm also going to replace my 5.70x8 wheels/tires with 530x12s to lower
rotation speed, which should reduce heating of the bearings. That is a
3-inch increase in diameter, but only raises the axle 1-1/2 inches. I'll
keep one of the smaller, lighter 5.70x8s to use as a spare. Should be
adequate to get me to the next service station, with only a 1-1/2-inch

Does anyone know if all the blue greases for boat trailers are made to the
same specs? Sta-Lube is the brand in most stores, but Champion specifies
Chevron EP-NLGL 2 for Spindle-Lube axles.

Harry Gordon
P14 #234, Manatee
Mountain View, CA